SF Public Library
Help me buy robertsore.com.
Tuesday, February 19, 2002
EMPIRE FALLS Japan, a nation once renowned for its innovators and its innovations, is now "in a slow, so far genteel decline," according to an insightful piece in the ever-insightful London Economist.
With its mikados unabashedly apathetic and its citizenry seemingly preternaturally content, unruffled by the slow glide into doom, Japan is now clearly a society in which decadence has prevailed over enlightenment, where cellular-phone addled sloth has trounced the good forces of entrepreneurship and hard work.
One hopes for the bounty of us all that Japan lift its head above the fog. But even if it does not, there is certainly something worthy of study in the Japan's descent: To all you flag-waving Yankees, I say, "Remember Japan!" Even the might may go astray.
THUGS AND OUTLAWS I'm thankfully old enough to remember the glory days of prizefighting, the epoch of Jack Dempsey and Gene Tunney and, Jack of all Jacks, big-hearted Marvin Hart. But ever since that slurred-spoken Ali entered the fray, the sweet science has been fraught with thugs and outlaws, street kids with grapefruit-fists and pea-brains.
Michael Tyson is the latest one.
But when Nevada turned him away from that state earlier this year, I thought that perhaps there were still some good souls left in the sport. It turns out I was being too optimistic, a frequent failing of mine. The city of Washington, in the District of Columbia, has allowed the fellow to fight. Not very sporting, if you ask me.
Monday, February 18, 2002
A HARD WEEKEND They call this President's Day. To a homeless man, it feels like every other day.
It rained today, as well, and my parka has several holes in it.
I pride myself on being able to handle the rough day or too, but this weekend was hellish, friends. Goofy eyed lovers strolling the streets, pretending just for Valentine's weekend that there's nothing wrong with the world. The skating travesty -- Canadians receiving their satisfaction for gold-medal whining. Holiday Monday, and the kids are out in force, yelling about what their parents should buy for them.
This isn't me, but it looks like me.
The library doesn't have those scan machines. And I don't have a camera.
My name is Robert Sore. I am a homeless man in San Francisco, scraping out a living from trash cans and odd jobs. But don't think that I need your pity. If you see me on the street, keep walking, buddy. I don't need your money and I don't need you, in fact -- but I'd be willing to wager that you need me.
I have lived a long time, and I spend a lot of time in the library. A lot of time. I know what's wrong with this world. Why the politicians have it wrong, why the fancy professors have it wrong, why the United States has it wrong. Why the liberals are wrong and why the conservatives are wrong.
But I damn sure know what's right, too. And I'm going to tell you what.